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Shining a Light on Child-First Coaching in Cricket


with Chance to Shine

Chance to Shine’s mission is to give all children the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket. The Children’s Coaching Collaborative visited a session in inner city Birmingham to see how coaches are utilising child-first coaching methods to help their participants thrive.

A young cricketer puts his arm around the shoulder of a team-mate in celebration

by Blake Richardson

Having fun comes first, second and third in the order of priorities at every Chance to Shine session. Because fun is a prerequisite for personal development, improving physical skills and developing social and mental well-being.

Chance to Shine works with 600,000 children and young people every year, developing transferable skills for life through the engaging medium of cricket.

A core partner of the Children’s Coaching Collaborative, we were invited along to a Chance to Shine session in the heart of Birmingham city centre to see how child-first principles are championed and implemented in practice, and to capture the voice of the participant.  

Ian Gregory is Chance to Shine’s Schools Programme Manager. He says respecting the rights of children and young people are central to the charity’s coaching philosophy.

The principles of voice, choice, and journey are rooted in the games-based approach Chance to Shine coaches take (as can be clearly observed in the video) and children are empowered to own and be the driving force of their participation.

Club Case Study: Chance to Shine

Coaches are catalysts for learning and development and the more motivated and supported they feel to be able to hand ownership to the children, the faster the benefits will be seen,” says Ian on the importance of a child-first philosophy.

"Those children who have positive experiences of the activities often talk about individuals who’ve inspired them, and they are able to connect the positive experience with memories of those coaches who made them feel welcome, included and supported."

Chance to Shine’s Street Projects (of which there are now nearly 300) are based in the 30% most deprived communities in England & Wales, where opportunities to join traditional cricket clubs are limited and where safe environments to play the game are not as readily accessible.

By bringing cricket to their doorstep, Chance to Shine doesn’t just help children who traditionally face barriers to getting active build friendships, feel part of their local community, and progress to a local club or community cricket hub. The opportunity to play cricket also builds teamwork, interpersonal skills and leadership skills that enable children to excel outside of sport and overcome life’s challenges.

Challenge Yourself

How can you support every child's sporting journey? Challenge yourself with these ideas of how to give every young person the freedom to create, explore and take ownership of their own path.


Dive into a conversation on inclusivity and intersectionality in children’s sport with host of the Play Their Way podcast podcast Laura-Jane Jones and Zoya Zia the Senior Impact and Evaluation Officer at Chance to Shine.


Other resources you may like...

A group of happy smiling young boys come together for a group hug during football training

Delivering Rights-Based Children's Coaching

Two young people, one wearing an orange jumper and one a grey jumper, smile at their coach and in relaxed mood with their hands in the pockets of their jumpers

Supporting Young People's Mental Health in Sport

Young girls at a dance class

Coaching Girls in Sport: A Guide to Get & Keep Girls Playing



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Help spread the word by sharing this website with fellow coaches!